(Photo Credit: Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Enquirer

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis and Linktree

Last night, the Boston Bruins traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to complete their preseason home-and-home series with Philadelphia. Charlie Coyle made his preseason debut as the black and gold fell 3-1 to the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. It was an uninspired effort for the Bruins, registering only 14 shots on goal and getting out-chanced 28-22 per Natural Stat Trick. Here are some takeaways from the game:

Poitras Keeps up the Pressure

The star of the preseason (and BNG’s #3 ranked prospect) continued to prove that he’s ready for NHL action. He contributed a powerplay assist, won eight of 11 faceoffs, and was Boston’s best forward all night. Poitras continues to make intelligent, creative, and strong plays across all three zones, something the Bruins organization expects out of their centers.

Poitras’ prowess as a passer is evident. He always seems to make the right play at the right time when the puck is on his stick. Several times, he was able to dictate the pace of the rush and make key passes to create scoring chances. He also had the secondary assist on the night’s only goal, finding Charlie Coyle below the goal line before dishing a slick backhand feed to Geekie in front of the net on the powerplay.

We’ve already established that Poitras is an NHL-caliber passer and offensive talent. His ability to win puck battles and drive the play continues to stand out, no matter who his linemates are. Poitras skated with Jesper Boqvist, Marc Mclaughlin, and Justin Brazeau throughout the contest, and despite the lack of playmakers on his wings, he was still able to create chances and generate offense for his team.

Poitras’ game was solid, but he continued hesitating with shooting the puck. He excels in a facilitator role but has an above-average shot that could be a real weapon at the NHL level.

One exciting thing about Poitras in this game was how coach Jim Montgomery deployed him. He spent time on the powerplay, penalty kill, and was used in offensive and defensive situations. The team is obviously pushing him to see if there are any holes in his game, and to this point, he’s answered the bell. From my point of view, he’s earned a roster spot this season and, at the very least, deserves a nine-game stint with the Bruins to start the season.

Battle for Seventh Defenseman

Ian Mitchell, Reilly Walsh, and Jakub Zboril have been competing throughout training camp and the preseason to earn the final roster spot on the Bruins blue line. Unfortunately for Zboril, he left Boston’s first preseason game with an injury and only recently returned to practice, potentially putting him behind the eight ball in this competition.

Mitchell (one goal, seven assists in 35 games with Chicago) skated for Jim Montgomery when he was behind the bench at the University of Denver, and he has seized the moment. He does his best work with the puck on his stick, constantly seeking transition and moving the puck with pace and accuracy. He pinches at the right time, moves well along the blue line, and is an excellent skater. I have concerns about his ability to defend in his zone, but Mitchell may have the inside track on the last roster spot.

Reilly Walsh (nine goals, 32 assists in 71 AHL games) has also logged many minutes this preseason. Walsh profiles as more of an offensive defenseman like Mitchell. He isn’t as quick but navigates traffic better in his zone and is a better defender than Mitchell. He has soft hands for a defenseman and does his best work on the blue line.

If I were to call this race right now, I’d give the nod to Walsh, but with two preseason games to go, it’s anyone’s game.

4th Line Center Should be Clear

Patrick Brown appeared for the first time this preseason, and it became instantly clear that Johnny Beecher has an edge over him. Brown didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but he provides almost no offensive upside and doesn’t have the speed to keep up with the Bruins’s offensive system.

The organization would be doing a disservice to itself and its fans if they decided to stash Beecher in Providence to start the season. He has a bigger body and more speed and has done everything he can to earn himself a spot on the roster. I fear that because Boston signed Brown on day one of free agency, they feel like they may owe him a shot at fourth-line center, but Beecher deserves the spot.

Lysell Needs Time

Fabian Lysell needs another year in Providence, and there’s no way around it. The former first-round pick boasts elite speed and incredible hands; unfortunately, the physicality and more detail-oriented parts of his game need refining. Lysell had several scoring chances in last night’s game, skating beside Jake Debrusk and Charlie Coyle, but overall, he had a disappointing game.

Fabian Lysell is not a bust by any means. I think he needs another year to mature and work on the finer points of the game (board play, forecheck, defensive zone coverage). Lysell will be a fan-favorite and exciting Bruin one day; it just won’t be at the beginning of this season.